Anderson Co. judge takes time to decide fate of more than 100 animals

PAWS Animal Shelter takes care of the rescued animals. (Feb. 22, 2014/FOX Carolina)

A decision may be made soon on the fate of more than 100 animals currently cared for at Anderson County PAWS.

PAWS took in the animals from a rescue group for lack of care and "improper feeding" in February, according to officials.

Lt. Sheila Cole of the Anderson County Sheriff's Office said that on Feb. 4, deputies received a search warrant to check the condition of the dogs at Golden S. Rescue on Hamlin Road in Easley.

At the property, officers found several dogs in kennels kept in unsanitary, unhealthy conditions, Cole said. Debra Sheridan was arrested and charged with two counts of ill treatment toward animals.

Sheridan said she was unjustly cited. She said the animals in her care were adopted from shelters just before they were to be put down, and that is why they were in poor medical condition.

She continues to fight for the return of the animals to her property; for that reason, the dogs and cats must remain at PAWS and not be adopted out until a court makes a decision.

Sheridan has requested a jury trial, which could take some time to complete, so a special court date is planned for Monday to solely discuss custody of the animals.

Director of PAWS, Jessica Cwynar said caring for the more than 100 animals and not being able to adopt them out has put a burden on the facility. She said PAWS remains closed on Saturdays so volunteers can care for the seized animals as well as the other animals currently at the facility.

Cwynar said they are seeking volunteers to help care for the animals as well as donations of puppy and kitten food and other supplies.

Both parties were in court Monday morning where numerous witnesses testified in the case. With pages of reports, the Anderson County judge adjourned for the day saying he would not make a ruling until he had gone through all of the evidence presented in court.

There is no word yet when he may make his ruling.

Copyright 2014 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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